MAINTAINING HEIFER GROWTH RATES


As we prepare to come off high nutrient dense spring grass into summer, we need to keep an eye on our heifers so they don't start slipping backwards, instead of maintaining consistent daily growth to reach calving weight by Autumn.


In the 2016 Spring we saw perennial pastures mature rapidly, increasing Neutral Detergent Fibre (NDF) in grass diets beyond sixty percent, resulting in reduced energy density that caused a significant impact on animal performance.


To maintain growth weights this Spring, Lets first look at - Fill or Food?


Heifers may look full with plenty of feed on offer, but are we underfeeding them? It is a good idea to have a look at the nutrient density of what we are offering, so that we can simply make sure there will be no surprises come joining or calving.


If we are are feeding out or grazing dry standing feed, a quick feed test is a simple way to get an accurate calculation to ensure there is enough energy and identify any shortfalls. It's an easy time of year to come short on energy.


Lastly, don't forget to clean troughs to provide clean, cool water, especially in summer!


Goal: 110 total MJME, 15% protein and 10 kgDM per head

To download a copy of this article, please click the link below…

MaintainHeiferGrowths_Spring2017pdf

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